Airbnb loves to frame their offering as a kind of global community, connecting travellers and hosts for life-changing experiences. But we know the real reason you'd open your apartment or spare bedroom to strangers: to get paid! Before you bust out the guest linens and start snapping listing-ready photos, however, you've got to do some maths. What's the right price for your place?
Airbnb has a built-in estimator, but it's pretty vague. (Obviously, the site doesn't want to make any promises — and also obviously, you should only be an Airbnb host if it's alright by your lease and local laws!)
Enter a neighbourhood or town, whether it's a private room, shared room, or entire apartment and the number of guests. Then Airbnb gives you a weekly average, along with a disclaimer: "How much you actually make may vary with your pricing, type and location of listing, season, demand and other factors".
(It likely also depends on how good your pictures are.)
Luckily, the data scientists at Eliot & Me have a calculator that takes into account more specific details (such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms) that the Airbnb tool skips over and offers a lot more information as well.
According to The Next Web, the Eliot & Me Estimator uses artificial intelligence to not only suggest a reasonable price for your rental, but to show how that price will likely vary over time and to highlight specific weeks and weekends of high demand.
You've opened up the Airbnb app or website with the intention of finding the perfect place to stay on your next trip — so how do you make sure you pick the right option out of what could be hundreds of possible choices? You want to avoid creepy hosts and rundown rooms.
It's reasonable to speculate that Airbnb lowballs its predictions — it serves guests as well as hosts, after all — but with a quick comparison, that fails to pan out, at least for the predictions before you sign up to host.
You can triangulate against other Airbnb calculators, but the Eliot & Me Estimator provides the most robust results we've seen.
While becoming an Airbnb host can be a great way to supplement your rent (and OK, help strangers have an awesome time visiting your city), it's also an investment of time and money, so make sure you know what you're getting yourself into.
And really, make sure it's legal where you live.